Friday, May 29, 2009
Slow and Steady Wins
My friend smiled as she waited to greet me at the church door. "You must have a tremendous store of patience and perseverance."
"Why do you say that?" I said.
"Well, your bad knees force you to walk so slowly, but they don't hold you back from doing what needs doing."
I should hope not. There's too much to be done. I have books to write, dreams to dream, classes to teach, workshops to conduct, stories to tell, grandchildren to schnuggle (don't try to find that one on dictionary.com), songs to sing, spoons to play, books to read, and mountains to climb (figuratively speaking, I'm afraid). It's good that I don't write books or tell stories with my knees.
I have a storytelling friend who has chosen the turtle as her mascot. She also has some physical limitations, but nothing that interferes with her ability to spin a fine yarn. I tried to think of other slow-moving creatures in God's zoo that would suit me.
A sloth? No. Bad connotation. I certainly wouldn't want potential agents or editors to think that I sit around doing little other than growing moss in my hair.
A snail? Too slimy.
An inchworm? Not bad, but easily squished. Besides, I'm more of a Type B personality. Inchworms definitely are Type A's.
A tortoise? That's it! But is it too similar to a turtle? Would that be considered plagiarism?
Actually, the tortoise has much to recommend it. It's the MC of a beloved folktale. Its slow, steady pace wins for it the race. It's not afraid to stick its neck out, but knows when to briefly retreat. It carries its home with it. (For me, home is wherever Jesus Christ is.) It is impervious to those who would say, "You can't do it."
The tortoise makes its deadline. Remember? It has a tremendous store of patience and perseverance.
A fresh pot of coffee doesn't hurt, either.
Note: The lovely illustration that accompanies this posting is by author/illustrator Arlene Graston and is copyrighted. She graciously granted me permission to include it.